Essendon Football Club has today acknowledged the AFL Commission’s endorsement to expand the NAB AFL Women’s Competition, which will see the Bombers become a true whole-of-club by no later than 2023.

Essendon will now proceed to provide a formal submission to the AFL Commission by the agreed deadline of July 9, 2021. 

Chief executive officer Xavier Campbell said the Essendon Football Club was ready to enter the NAB AFL Women’s competition.

“We have continued to closely engage both the AFL and AFL Commission over the past 24 months highlighting our work and investment in our women’s football program," Campbell said.

“Having built up a strong and successful VFLW program over the past four years, through our investment in infrastructure and resourcing at our state-of-the-art NEC Hangar facility, as well as our work and passion in supporting female pathway programs and individual player development; this work is not unfamiliar to the AFL. We have demonstrated this to the AFL previously through formal submissions and tours of our facilities, but will comply with their request to provide another formal submission by July 9, 2021.  

“Furthermore, our geographical location allows us to play a critical role in continuing to grow the game of women’s football, particularly at a grassroots level. As such, we have established relationships with the Calder Cannons’ and Bendigo Pioneers’ NAB League under-19s female football programs, with pathways now developed through to our own VFLW program.

“Importantly and holistically, our club is ready. Our people are ready. Strong foundations have been laid, and we are all aligned and united in our determination to live by our “five teams, one club” mentality. Incorporating the AFL and soon-to-be AFLW, VFL and VFLW programs, as well as our wheelchair football team, we are ready to finally become a true, and complete, club.

“With these timelines now communicated by the AFL and AFL Commission, we are confident we will have the AFL Commission’s support to enter the AFL Women’s competition by season seven.”